Wizards of the Coast is fixing the main sore spot of Magic: Arena soon


The fifth (extra) card problem

Magic: Arena is a pretty fantastic rendition of the paper version: so fantastic that it's become my most-played digital card game at the moment. But there was one major issue plaguing the still-in-beta project, "the fifth card problem."

In short, in paper Magic you can (generally) only have four copies of a card in any given deck. So if you get a fifth copy (or more) you can freely sell them on the open market, or of course, trade them. Many digital card games like Hearthstone give you "dust" for extra copies that you can use to craft new cards, but Arena handled things differently. While there is an existing wild card system fifth cards would generally poof into thin air, granting "vault access." After a certain period of time the vault would open and you'd get a ton of wild cards.

It wasn't a very good long term solution as the system was both not rewarding or satisfying, so after many months of deliberation they're fixing it. Now when you buy packs (with real money or in-game gold you earn through quests or matches) if you crack a fifth copy, the game will grant you another equal value tier card in that same set. Once you have them all (read: this is really hard to do unless you buy a lot of packs or play a lot), you'll get gems (premium currency) instead.

Now there is a small drawback: individual card rewards (ICRs) will be balanced to compensate for the more generous system. When earning ICRs there will be less of a chance to unlock rarer cards, which is a detriment to completely free-to-play players as ICRs are a big source of card generation. It's a bit of give and take, but I dig the fifth card protection and don't mind grinding out more matches for ICRs, even if the earn rate for more impactful cards is lower.

This is all coming on January 17 right alongside the next set, Ravnica AllegianceAllegiance packs and boxes will hit the paper Magic circuit on January 25 and there will be a sealed re-release event this weekend.

You are logged out. Login | Sign up



Chris Carter
Chris CarterReviews Director, Co-EIC   gamer profile

Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! ------------------- T... more + disclosures



Also on Destructoid: Magic: The Gathering Arena   (10)   From our database:

  • Ravnica Allegiance hits Magic: The Gathering this week, here's everything you need to know - Chris Carter
  • Wizards of the Coast is fixing the main sore spot of Magic: Arena soon - Chris Carter
  • Magic's next expansion, Ravnica Allegiance, is out this month: here's an exclusive card - Chris Carter
  • Magic Arena is hosting a free pauper (cheap cards) event through January 4 - Chris Carter
  • Grab a bunch of free Magic Arena cards with a new Game Awards promo - Chris Carter
  • Wizards of the Coast gets serious with Magic Arena with massive eSports push - Chris Carter
  • Praise Mavren Fein: Magic Arena is getting Ixalan drafts in December - Chris Carter
  • PSA: You can still use the 'PlayRavnica' code in Magic: Arena's open beta for free packs - Chris Carter
  • Magic Arena will finally let you play with friends on November 15 - Chris Carter
  • More related stories
    Filed under... #Card games #Magic the Gathering #pc #Wizards of the Coast



    You're not expected to always agree, but do please keep cool and never make it personal. Report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community team. Also, on the right side of a comment you can flag nasty comments anonymously (we ban users dishing bad karma). For everything else, contact us!